By Gina Piazza

Well, it’s fall ya’ll! That’s a phrase we love to say in the south. It is the autumn leaves of November, the scent of pumpkin candles, and coffee in the air that makes it my favorite time of year. As I write this, I am on my way to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for our yearly trip to see the fall leaves in all of their splendor. Soon enough, we will be in the kitchen making preparations for the special occasion we call Thanksgiving. This is traditionally celebrated with a feast! The bounty from our harvest will include everything from baked turkey, sweet potato casserole, oyster or cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet tea, and some sweet rolls. Sounds good right? 

While reflecting on this upcoming holiday, it made me think about the sacrifice that led to this celebration. Let me stir you with this to ponder. Have you ever had a dream or a justice cry in your spirit, but the steps involved and the stewarding of that dream was unclear? I can only imagine packing up my family, hitting the seas, coming into a strange land, braving the aliments, planting crops, building the houses, and facing famine and disease. It was not a picnic or a walk in the park, yet these men and woman fought with bravery to get to this great land. They left the comforts of home to step into something new, something untamed, and with wild abandon. It was a dangerous quest to search, seek, and find a better life. 

Although these pioneering pilgrims may have had comforts and plenty food in their previous homes, their spirits were hungry. They were hungry for truth, liberty, righteous justice in the land, freedom to read the Bible for themselves, and to obtain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These pilgrims were among many spiritual revolutionaries who left earthly possessions in pursuit of a dream forged by God for freedom. They fought and sought to frame both community and governance in a way that would reflect His glory and freedom for the nations. Much personal sacrifice was involved. For them, it was worth it. They understood what it was like to not be able to provide for their families and have their rights taken away. Most of all, they knew the pain of being forbidden to read the word of God and praise Him freely. If they did, they were considered a heretic. 

In America, we see the fruits of the foundation made by the pilgrims. Were all the sacrifices worth it? I believe so. Personally, I am thankful for those who came seeking something more and for their bravery.  Perhaps, for a moment, you will experience the true freedom that Thanksgiving symbolizes. This can be achieved by giving yourself to a God sized dream. Just maybe in the future, you will unlock the potential to shift society into heaven’s pattern and redefine our world.